6 Best Guns to Have After an EMP

Rich M.
By Rich M. March 28, 2019 08:08

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMP

Editors’ Note: This article is based on the fact that, after an EMP, we wont be able to fix automatic weapons if they break at some point. We’ll also have a hard time reloading bullets.

Limited or no ammo availability means the brass has to last as long as possible, to be able to reload ammo. Semi-auto rifles are harder on brass than bolt, falling block or other type’s rifles. With semi-autos, you have brass elongation; you need to trim your brass frequently, full-length size on every load. And after a few reloads, you basically run out of brass life.

From the same point of view, I personally think an AR-15 would still be a good choice. Because a lot of people have them, you can easily find spare parts for your own if it breaks.


By Rich

Of all the potential TEOTWAWKI events there are, an EMP is the one to keep our eyes on. Not only is an EMP one of the most devastating disasters we might encounter, it is also one of the more likely. There are a number of different bad actors in the world, which could use an EMP against our nation; not only rogue nations like North Korea and Iran, but terrorists as well.

While it takes extremely sophisticated technology to build nuclear warheads, especially the miniaturized ones needed for launch by missiles, it doesn’t take particularly sophisticated technology to build the missiles. The SCUD missile is really nothing more than a German V2 rocket from World War II, yet it reaches an altitude high enough to launch an EMP attack. While not high enough to destroy the electrical grid nationwide, three SCUD launched nuclear devices could, launching from off the East Coast, the West Coast, and Gulf of Mexico). Ordinary container ships could be the launch platform.

This means two things to us. The first is that attack by EMP is more likely than many other potential major disasters. While that is not good news, the second is that if we use an EMP as the basis for our long-term survival planning, we’re ready for just about anything.

An EMP would put our country back to the 1800s, technology wise. However, we would not be as well off as our ancestors in that time, simply because we don’t have their technology or know how to use it. This was the tail end of the Industrial Revolution, with tools and equipment that was much different than what we use today.

Few people know how to do the trades that existed in the later 1800s, let alone the early 1800s. Without modern tools and equipment, there are many things which we will not have any idea how to do. We will have to literally recreate technology and methods, relearning things that our ancestors took for granted.

It will probably also be advisable to rethink our use of firearms. Modern centerfire cartridges came into use in the latter 1800s, with shotgun cartridges predating them by almost a half a century. But semi-automatic firearms didn’t it the market until the early 1900s.

While we wouldn’t lose the semi-automatic firearms we have, there was a reason why they weren’t invented until the 1900s; that’s because they are more complicated. So, while our semi-auto rifles, shotguns and pistols would work, once they break, we probably won’t be able to repair them. That is, we won’t be able to repair them unless we have a stock of repair parts on hand to work with.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at what sorts of firearms we should consider adding to our arsenal, specifically with the idea of using them in a post-EMP world. In this regard, I’m going to ignore the idea of having a stockpile of parts and concentrate on what would be workable for the average person who can’t do a whole lot of detailed repairs.

Semi-automatic .22LR Rifle

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMPProbably the most important firearm to own in a post-EMP world is a .22LR rifle. Big game will be scarce and overhunted, leaving little to hunt other than small game. You really can’t beat a .22LR for hunting small game. The small bullet doesn’t waste a lot of meat and the light caliber is easy to use. With a scope mounted to the rifle, you can shoot a fair distance.

But I’m thinking of the .22 in a little different light than most people. I’m thinking of it as a disposable gun. You can buy these for as little as $120, not a whole lot of investment. So it’s really not much of a problem to have a few spares around. If the one you’re using breaks, you can simply switch your scope over to another one and keep shooting.

Another advantage of the .22LR is the cost of ammunition. While the price of ammo has increased, this is still the cheapest you can buy. Stockpiling a few thousand rounds for hunting small game really isn’t going to be a big deal.

Related: The Top 5 .22 LR Survival Rifles

Bolt-action Hunting Rifle

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMPThe bolt-action rifle has been around since the early 1800s, actually predating the lever action Winchester 1873 Repeating Rifle (carbine) that “Won the West.” From the time the US Army adopted the Springfield 1892, up to the time they adopted the M-16 during the Vietnam War.

There was a good reason for this; bolt action rifles are highly reliable. There is little that can go wrong with the bolt, other than a broken ejector or firing pin. About the only thing that can go wrong with the firing mechanism is a broken spring. So, chances are a bolt action rifle would last well, without needing repairs.

Lever-action Rifle

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMPThe rifle that won the west was the Winchester 1873 Repeating Rifle. This was a lever action, sold both as a carbine (using pistol cartridges) and as a rifle. Like the bolt action rifle, the lever action was highly reliable, with little to break. One can be used for years, without any serious problem.

Revolver

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMPThis one is hard for me to say, but a revolver is definitely a better sidearm in a post-EMP world than a semi-automatic pistol. I’m a semi-auto man myself, but I recognize that the revolver has a much simpler firing mechanism, with much more robust parts. This makes it highly desirable in a time when making repairs to a gun might be impossible. While I love my Glock and my 1911, I’d want to have a good revolver by my side in a post-EMP world.

What that means for me is adding a revolver to my handgun stash, just to have something to use, if something happens to my other pistols. I’ll still keep my other pistols, but it will be nice to have something that’s easier to repair, just in case.

Related: 6 Reliable “Pocket” Revolvers For Off-grid Defense

Black Powder Rifle

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMPNow let’s go a little off the reservation. In addition to the above, which you can probably find in any of a number of different lists, I’d highly recommend a black powder rifle or two, as part of your arsenal. Specifically, I’d recommend this as your main hunting rifle for big game. Please note that I’m talking about a rifle (with a rifled barrel) not a musket, which is a smoothbore weapon.

The problem with black powder rifles is that most are muzzle loaders. There are a few breach loaders around, but they aren’t common. Yet, for the purpose of using it as a survival hunting gun, I’d highly recommend finding a breach loader. Not only can they be reloaded much more rapidly, but they tend to be more accurate than muzzle loaders.

One of the big advantages here is that you can make black powder and cast your own bullets. While it might be hard to find the ingredients to make black powder, they can be found. Lead for bullets shouldn’t be a problem, because you can always melt down lead from car batteries. Just be sure to rinse the acid off first.

The one problem here might be percussion caps, if you buy a muzzle loader that uses them. A flintlock would be better as far as supply is concerned, but percussion is more reliable. So just make sure you have a good stock of percussion caps, if your rifle needs it.

Related: How To Make Gun Powder The Old Fashioned Way in Less Than 30 Minutes

Black Powder Revolver

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMPOf course, if you are going to use a black powder rifle, you might want to consider a black powder revolver to go with it. There are a number of replicas and kits available for these, making it a good option for a hunting sidearm. Just be sure to avoid the early Colt revolvers, which don’t have a frame strap above the cylinder, as they tend to be weak and break.

Black powder revolvers all use a percussion cap, so you will definitely need to put in a goodly stock. But other than that, you can make the powder and shot yourself. As for the grease that is used to pack the cylinders, you can use any animal grease you can find.

Speaking of Repairs

6 Best Guns to Have After an EMPI’ve talked a lot about repairs in the article. While I stand behind what I’ve said about the firearms above, I really think the most important thing you can do, besides having a good stock of ammunition to go with whatever firearms you have, is put in a good supply of repair parts. At a minimum, you should have spring kits, pin kits, firing pins and extractors. Those are the parts which are most likely to break. If you have those parts, chances are you can repair your firearms.

Take the time to watch some videos about the takedown and repair of the specific model firearms you own too. I have found that the best videos to watch are those that show a full takedown and rebuild. If you learn how to do that and you can recognize damaged parts, you can repair just about anything.

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Rich M.
By Rich M. March 28, 2019 08:08
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94 Comments

  1. Raven tactical March 28, 09:04

    I going to try and understand why a emp would effect a gun.

    A semi auto glock is less complicated then a revolver. Even a ar15 is pretty simple and cheap to stock parts . This article is Definitely not written by someone in the gun industry.

    Reply to this comment
    • Meathead March 28, 16:49

      Looks like you missed the point of the article.
      His article wasn’t about the EMP directly affecting a firearm, it was about an EMP making the acquisition of parts unavailable to repair a broken firearm.

      Reply to this comment
      • Raven tactical March 28, 19:23

        Which is easier to get ar15 and glock parts or some random level gun.. werid I can get ar15 parts all day long from box stores to online. The other is only online.

        Reply to this comment
        • poorman March 31, 10:58

          How much online shopping do you plan on doing after an EMP? Even with a broken main spring you could probably fire a revolver with a heavy duty rubber band around the hammer. The whole point of the article was to make people think out of the box.

          Reply to this comment
      • Greg June 8, 19:07

        My cap and ball-Ruger old 44 Army

        Reply to this comment
    • Labienus March 28, 17:13

      That’s what I was thinking.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Raven tactical March 28, 09:10

    This article isn’t written with a good knowledge about guns. A glock is less complicated than it common revolver. Ar15s are simple and spare parts are cheap and everywhere.

    Reply to this comment
    • Spike March 28, 16:19

      I agree with you completely Raven Tactical. This is one of the worst articles I’ve seen on this site. Even a Lever Action rifle is less reliable than an automatic. Black Powder will not be as common to find as most modern powders for reloading.

      Reply to this comment
    • Meathead March 28, 16:50

      Looks like you missed the point of the article.
      His article wasn’t about the EMP directly affecting a firearm, it was about an EMP making the acquisition of parts unavailable to repair a broken firearm.

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 28, 17:52

      Raven tac: The screening program that Claude is using in many cases doesn’t allow posts to appear instantaneously as they used to in prior years. Have patience. Your gems of wisdom will eventually appear. If you try to post two times in the same day, it will take much longer for the second post to appear. I’m surprised that your second post appeared as quickly as it did.

      For example, this post probably won’t appear until sometime tomorrow.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Jag March 28, 11:48

    How a emp would turn your semi auto into a junk pile is beyond me. The bloggers doesnt seem to have a grasp on guns.

    The semi auto glock is less complex then a revolver. the ar15 is rather simple and parts are physically everywhere.

    Perhaps some research would help people before they write a fluff article

    Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe March 28, 14:52

      I predict this article is going to get a lot of criticism. With that said here is mine. I don’t care what kind of gun you have something on it at sometime is going to break or ware out and will need replaced. So with the argument that you won’t have spare parts to get has no place because you need spare parts for any gun. Firing pins, springs, bolts, levers, sights, etc, etc. I love he mentioned casting your own Bullets but car batteries are not a good source of lead. It takes a couple days of work to get the lead and clean it well enough to even melt it down and it is not just as simple as rinsing it off. You need a solution of water and baking soda to neutralize the acid. And the yield is very disappointing. Black powder rifle? Really? One shot at a time? Just because an EMP throws us backwards on technology does not mean it has to throw us back on firearms. So yes, please have parts, bullets, powder, lead, equipment, primers, casings, weapons, gear all stocked ready to go for that worst case scenario.

      Reply to this comment
      • Meathead March 28, 17:02

        20,000 rounds of .22, 10,000 rounds of .223/5.56, 2,500 rounds of .308 or .30-06, several thousand rounds of 12Ga and or 20Ga shells, 2,500 rounds of 9MM for pistol and rifle, 2,000 rounds of .40 or .45 pistol rounds and, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, several thousand .177 or .22 pellets for a break-a-way or pump high power pellet rifle.
        A couple of years of stored food, a water source, several water filters and a wood burning heater along with a good supply of soap (learn how to make it) and you should be able to make it through the dark time.

        Reply to this comment
    • Hacksaw March 28, 15:07

      Raven and Jag:
      I’m Having difficulty finding the section of the article where the author indicates than an EMP turns a semi auto into a junk pile. Could you point the section out for us?

      Reply to this comment
      • young prepper March 28, 17:34

        perhaps jag was only assuming,considering the auto does not mention emp’s ruining firearms

        Reply to this comment
      • Chappy March 29, 00:46

        You guys really need to read the article closer. He is not saying the EMP will affect the guns, only that in that post-EMP world, simple guns will be better than modern semiautos. I am not agreeing or disagreeing but hell, at least read close enough before you comment.

        Reply to this comment
    • Hacksaw March 28, 15:13

      Jag. Perhaps reading the article before posting inaccurate comments would prevent you from presenting yourself as a fool to the general public.

      Reply to this comment
      • Raven tactical March 28, 19:21

        It’s not that the emp would damange it. The article is beyond stupid the author has no understanding of guns. The complex semi auto isnt anywhere worse then the rest of the guns. Far easier to have ar15 spare parts and glock parts then your fudd tactic guns.

        Reply to this comment
  4. Rich M March 28, 14:29

    Hey guys, you’re misunderstanding where I’m coming from here. No, an EMP would not affect any gun. The concern I’m dealing with is what to do in a world where you can’t buy ammo or parts to repair a gun; such as could be expected in a post-EMP world. In that case, what guns are you most likely going to be able to use?

    If you’ve read “One Second After” which is probably the best post-EMP scenario written to date, then you can see the type of scenario I had in mind when writing. The choices I made are more in the line of what would be good to have if you don’t have everything prepared.

    Personally, I’ve got my hand-built AR-15, Glock 17, Remington 700 and several thousand rounds of ammo, as well as spare parts So, I don’t expect to have much of a problem. But once again, what if I didn’t?

    Reply to this comment
    • Matt in Oklahoma March 29, 21:37

      I have literally worked on guns for over 30 years. The AR is better suited to long term use as is a Glock than in terms of amount of rounds you can put through one without having to work on it. You think your bolt gun is gonna run a few thousand before you gotta lap the bolt!?! Probably not.
      A black powder nipple is going to hold up to thousands of firings? Probably not

      Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper March 30, 03:14

        Matt in Oklahoma,

        A black powder nipple is going to hold up to thousands of firings? Probably not

        I agree; but, they are inexpensive and very easy to change. Personally, I think REALLY long term a flint lock might be better, since all you need are powder, patches, and bullets, and the powder can be made from relatively easy to acquire materials.

        Reply to this comment
        • HoundDogDave April 1, 10:32

          Lead for bullets can be easily found if you know the location of an outdoor range. The berms are chuck full of spent ammo. I recall a video where a man and his son use window screen to sift out the bullets from the dirt. Seems I remember them getting 20-30 lbs in an hour or so. After that, you need a fire hot enough to melt the lead and an iron skillet to melt it in. The copper jackets and dirt will float to the top and you just need to skim that and the other slag off. Of course, you need the other bullet making equipment appropriate for your firearm. But it looks quite simple to do with minimal skills and equipment.

          Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper March 30, 03:08

      Rich M,

      If you’ve read “One Second After” which is probably the best post-EMP scenario written to date, then you can see the type of scenario I had in mind when writing. The choices I made are more in the line of what would be good to have if you don’t have everything prepared.

      If you are basing your efforts on “One Second After” that’s OK; but, the story is full of holes and they disregard a lot of technology that would have been undamaged and they could have used. The author, William R. Forstchen is a Professor of History at Montreat College, in Montreat, North Carolina where the story in the book takes place. While it was good to get people thinking, much of the science in the story is flawed, based on current testing and technology.

      Reply to this comment
  5. John D March 28, 14:32

    It’s not the only gun I own, but I like my Gamo Air Rifle. It’s quiet, great for taking down small game, and I can stockpile thousands of rounds of ammo without spending a fortune.

    Reply to this comment
    • Meathead March 28, 17:09

      Be sure go get extra O-rings and other seals for it.
      My Break-a-way blew the O-ring seal, so I went to the hardware store, matched it and bought several spares. Sprayed them with silicone and put them in a ziploc bag.

      Anything that might need repairing or replacing for at least three-years after an EMP should be stocked.

      Reply to this comment
      • John D March 30, 16:56

        Ah yes. Spare parts for my Gamo. That’s an area where my preps are lacking. I’ll look into that. Thanks for the comment.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck March 30, 18:44

          Also airgun oil. You must buy specific airgun oil to use on your airgun. I believe it is a non-petroleum based oil so that it doesn’t diesel in the air chamber as the air compresses. Because it is non-petroleum based, it also doesn’t deteriorate the o-rings in the gun. It is cheap enough as a single drop is enough to last several hundred shots.

          Reply to this comment
    • HoundDogDave March 28, 22:40

      I have a Gamo “Silent Stalker” .22 (discontinued model. not the whisper) that I have taken a couple of small raccoons with headshots(25-30 yards). Although it is are RELATIVELY quiet (90’ish Db) it still makes a considerable POP. Something on the line of filling a baggie with air and poping it. A raccoon is probably the upper limit for game with a .22 pellet rifle. Depending on the ammo, we are only talking 14-18 gr lead pellet @ 650-750 fps and roughly 16-18 fpe.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Prepper in VA March 28, 14:34

    Strictly speaking from a preparedness standpoint, semi auto parts and ammo will be far more common after an EMP event if for no other reason than they are far more commonly used than revolvers. Parts are cheap and repairs are simple to DIY. I’ve never owned a revolver, so I have never tried to take one apart and repair or upgrade pars so I can’t speak to that.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Tex Caledonia March 28, 14:48

    Wow…..I disagree with most of this story. To include single action handguns along with a lever action rifle to the exclusion of more modern, combat firearms is baffling. Both the AR and AK platforms are completely ignored. Why? They are common, combat proven and very well supported. And to recommend black powder firearms is surprising and misses the point that black powder shooters are in the minority of gun owners. This is a laughably ridiculous article. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake d March 28, 20:35

      I think the point might be that black powder is an alternative when all else fails. Kind of like having a bow and arrows. Not your first line of defense but noce you have around.

      Reply to this comment
    • Mr Ed March 28, 20:40

      The writer seem to have forgotten the Ruger10/22 takedown. A simple gun with 10-50 rnd magazines that just seems to keep on shooting. My choice of pistol besides the Ruger Mark lV 22 tactical which is also never quits running would be my grandfather’s 1911 from World War 1 which has never quit shooting and never had a malfunction. There’s a reason the 1911 has been around for over a hundred years and still the choice of civilians, law enforcement and Military around the world. We all have our favorites and opinions.

      Reply to this comment
      • Raven tactical March 28, 22:20

        Sorry I wouldn’t carry a 1911
        To out dated. capacity sucks and a field strip isn’t as simple. Losing parts is easy in a field environment. The manual safety’s drove me nuts

        I own one it’s a nice range gun.

        Reply to this comment
        • Tex April 17, 16:45

          We’re glad you won’t carry a 1911A1. It is too much gun for many shooters and you seem to be in that group. Good for you. On the other hand the gun is combat proven, rock solid, a very effective caliber for self defense. My guess is if this is the only weapon you had access to you’d most likely change your opinion. A good range gun? LMAO!!!

          Reply to this comment
          • Raven tactical April 17, 17:01

            My edc is a glock 20 which Is more gun then the 1911 ever will be. The 1911 is a fudd gun but I do own one and use it at the range. Nice but pointless to carry

            Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper March 30, 03:27

        Mr Edm

        The writer seem to have forgotten the Ruger10/22 takedown. A simple gun with 10-50 rnd magazines that just seems to keep on shooting.

        He does mention ”Semi-automatic .22LR Rifle” as a generic firearm, and I agree that the 10/22 would be a good one. I don’t have the take down; but, do have several, with my favorite in a bull-pup stock.

        Reply to this comment
  8. young prepper March 28, 15:14

    an emp wouldnt affect firearms,since most have no electronic element in them, and thats what emp’s do damage to, and i dont know everything there is to know about guns but i know that there are some rifles that are simple to operate and repair, now feel free to correct me if i’m wrong but the simplest type of gun i can think of is a single shot breech loader,i’ve seen people make them with virtually nothing and no experience

    Reply to this comment
  9. lc65 March 28, 15:58

    You guys are funny.
    First off, read the article before you make a comment.
    Second an AR -15 is probably 10 x more complicated ( meaning more parts and more moving parts ) than a marlin 336. “……..parts are physically everywhere. ..” , just looked out my back door and saw absolutely no parts, but I did see a pipe I could fire a shotgun round from with a little engineering.

    Reply to this comment
    • Raven tactical March 28, 19:29

      then you live under a rock

      Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe April 1, 14:50

      The idea is that there are millions of AR15’s around the country. Tens of millions would probably be more accurate in hands of Americans. If all out war comes about I’m sure we will have the ability to walk out and pick up guns and have many that still function and some that don’t can be used for spare parts. So even if you don’t stick up on parts now, chances are pretty good you can when SHTF.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Tom March 28, 16:32

    Even highly trained special forces soldiers, if dropped in the middle of nowhere, want to have a Glock as a sidearm. Revolvers??? SERIOUSLY??? One little piece of crud getting into a revolver through the openings in its frame will mean it locks up until taken apart and cleaned. For a Glock, that just means rinsing it out with some cruddy water. Try that with a revolver.

    Reply to this comment
  11. left coast chuck March 28, 17:48

    While all the armchair gun experts will sound off on this article, please try to refrain from telling someone they are stupid or some other pejorative. If there are actual errors in the post point them out. If it is just a difference of opinion, state your opinion. You don’t buttress your argument by denigrating someone else’s opinion. They are just that, opinions.

    For example, the Glock is simpler to work on than a .45 Colt, Ruger single action. Perhaps if I had actually been repairing guns for the amount of time I have been shooting them, I would be able to venture a qualified opinion. Inasmuch as I haven’t, I won’t.

    Certainly AK style rifles have proven themselves durable and able to continue in action when other firearms have stalled out due to dirt and parts wear. That durability comes from the design of the gun which was that the parts would be built with lots of room in the dimensions. The 1911 Colt was built the same way. It continued to function in the mud and general debris of trench warfare due to its generous dimensions. While the battle 1911 lacked the accuracy that the firearm was capable of when finely tuned by a knowledgeable gunsmith, it turned out that the finely tuned, accurized 1911 wasn’t as forgiving when it came to dirt and grime.

    There is no perfect weapon. I can make that statement without fear of contradiction. No matter what your favorite firearm is, there are drawbacks to it. For example, the weak link in every semiautomatic firearm is the magazine. Yes, there are no doubt tens of thousands of Glock 19 magazines in the U.S. today, perhaps even hundreds of thousands but they are all the weak link to any Glock. If your semi-automatic firearm has a magazine disconnect, a device being found more and more on semi-automatic handguns, when your last magazine dies, you won’t even have a single shot firearm. At least with no magazine disconnect, you still have a single shot pistol, albeit a rather awkward one to use.

    Speaking of single shot weapons. If you are interested in reliability, that probably is the most reliable firearm in the marketplace today. There are a large number of single shot firearms available from the Ruger No. 1 to the Thompson/Center line of firearms with an infinite number of interchangeable barrels and the ability to switch from pistol to rifle. Although one must exercise caution before the EOTW in doing that so as not to run afoul of the BATF/ATF/WHATEVER ACRONYM AGENCY. After the EOTW, those agencies will be scrambling to protect their own families and silly, meaningless, idiotic rules will go by the wayside. If you want to put a shoulder stock on your Ruger single-action Super Blackhawk .44 magnum and you have the skills necessary you will be able to do it without worrying about some ninja gang rappelling down from a helicopter in the middle of the night.

    I got my H&R single-shot, 16 ga. full choke shotgun Christmas of the year I was 16. It still works some many decades later. As a matter of fact, because that was way back before suing somebody became the national pastime, the trigger on that old shotgun is as smooth as silk and as light as a feather. My single shot .22 bought 6 months earlier still works. It doesn’t extract all that well but it still is really accurate despite the fact that one of my brothers managed to ring the barrel while I was away in the Marine Corps. That is totally surprising to me. I would have thought that having a ringed barrel would throw accuracy to the winds, but if I do my part the little single-shot .22 is deadly accurate. And talk about ammunition, that gun will fire anything in .22 rimfire with the exception of .22 WMR. It was manufactured before that round hit the market, but I suspect if I had the chamber reamed out I could then fire anything from .22 bb caps all the way up to .223 WMR. That’s a thought that just occurred to me. I am going to have to investigate that.

    We all have our favorite guns for whatever reasons we deem important. Keep in mind, however, none of those guns is the perfect gun. Every one of them has weaknesses in the design or the manufacture or both.
    Know how to use it. Know how to service it. Have spare parts on hand.

    Reply to this comment
    • The Ohio Prepper March 30, 03:41

      left coast chuck,
      Good points. While not my favorite gun, my T/C Contender with its 4 barrels is one of the most versatile and fun to shoot guns in my collection.
      For those who scoff @ revolvers; I often carry, along with several autoloaders one, and for new people who carry, they are perhaps the easiest to use. If you have a misfire or malfunction on a semi auto and are not proficient with clearing drills, you have a problem. On a double action revolver, you just squeeze the trigger again.
      My single action .357 Blackhawk has also taken a few deer, in a state where we cannot hunt deer with centerfire rifle cartridges.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck March 30, 18:51

        Ohio Preppier: I just watched a video where a gunman held up sandwich shop. The idiot racked his piece as he pulled it from his pocket. The only problem was, there was already a round in the chamber. He was carrying it loaded in his pocket and I am sure cocked too as he was completely ignorant of basic gun handling. He short stroked the slide and then rode the slide back into position, effectively totally jamming the weapon. The clerk seemed to realize that the fool had a massively jammed weapon that wouldn’t fire because he was calm and cool as he handed the brain dead robber the cash in the drawer.

        The robber should seek another career path as he obviously is not intelligent enough for armed robbery which is really a low skill occupation. Although with his limited cognitive ability, I am not sure just what he is capable of.

        Reply to this comment
      • Raven tactical March 30, 18:56

        Revolvers can have cylinder lock…..which renders it useless.

        Reply to this comment
  12. HoundDogDave March 28, 17:58

    “Ar15s are simple and spare parts are cheap and everywhere.”
    Really? What do you suppose you will buy them with, U.S dollars? Whatever cash you may have(because the banks only have electronic records of your money they hold, all that value is lost FOREVER) 6 months after the national grid goes down paper money will only be useful as green toilet paper. And, where? No FedEx or UPS to ship it, so you will have to go find it (if you can) and convince whoever has it to let you have some. What replacement parts you don’t have before the collapse will be nearly impossible to acquire afterward. What do you think the U.S will look like 6 months down the road with 400+ million people without electrical power and maybe <40 million that have some clue how to live without it if the grid is severely damaged (and possibly needs a decade or more to restore to current capabilities). I'm sure the Chinese will be glad to help with infrastructure repairs.

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    • Raven tactical March 28, 19:26

      Dude that goes with anything. If your a so called prepper you will stockpile. Also the most common rifle means you can use other ar15s.. police military or neighbors for parts

      Reply to this comment
  13. Leonardo hernandez March 28, 18:17

    I never knew this

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  14. CharlesR March 28, 18:53

    Alot of you posting didn’t get the whole just of this article. No an EMP would not affect your guns. What it would do is shut the grid down which shuts down everything electrical including the trucks delivering food and supplies to the stores. Within a week the stores will be empty with mass chaos. This article is just stating what would be good options if you can no longer go to the corner store. I agree with another poster that a good air rifle may be the best choice for small game. You could carry 2000 rounds in your front pocket

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    • left coast chuck March 28, 20:44

      Today one can acquire an air gun up to .50 caliber. However, the .50 airgun is not silent. Once you get past .25 caliber, the noise of the air being released increases with caliber. A larger volume of air is needed to drive the larger caliber bullet to the desired velocity.

      I would think any airgun from .35 caliber to .50 caliber would take most big game in the U.S. That, of course, depends upon the skill of the shooter.

      Pyramid Air within the past ten days announced a pre-charged pneumatic (air) gun that self contains the pump. I forget how many pumps equals how many shots for the .22 caliber, but the specs were shots at 900 fps muzzle velocity. Certainly enough to take small game at reasonable distances. So you have a repeating air gun with a self-contained pump. That is a real breakthrough.

      Tremendous strides have been made in the last ten years in airguns. One would have never thought that an accurate airgun would reach 1200 fps, but many single shot, .17 caliber air guns regularly reach 1200 fps with mind-boggling accuracy if you do your part. HOWEVER, the 1200 fps breaks the sound barrier and so you still have the crack of the round. Not quite the boom of a .300 Winchester magnum, but still an audible crack.

      With a pump and some spare o rings, and a supply of pellets you have a weapon that will put meat on the table, provide self defense and last a long time. Many pre-charged pneumatics hold a clip with multiple pellets so that one can fire multiple shots much like a firearm.

      All that said, for an EOTW situation, I am still going to go with a regular firearm firing bullets propelled by a chemical compound. The air gun will be for hunting on the quiet side.

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      • Hacksaw March 29, 12:53

        I’ve used air guns for over 50 years. They can be an effective tool but they all sharecone common problem: after continued use they will one day no longer function. They may last 6 months or 6 years but you can take this to the bank: an air gun will cease to function. Don’t plan on the air gun for a long term solution.

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      • The Ohio Prepper March 30, 03:55

        left coast chuck,
        It’s interesting that you should mention air rifles, that while not my first choice, are a must have backup. A situation similar to the aftermath of an EMP occurred for some guys more than 200 years ago from May 1804 to September 1806. I am talking of course about Captain Meriwether Lewis & his friend 2nd Lieutenant William Clark who traveled across the country, with no stores or spare parts available that they were not already carrying. The gun they carried was the Girandoni air rifle designed by Tyrolian inventor Bartholomäus Girandoni in 1779.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck March 30, 18:40

          Ohio Preppier: Yes, and the Girondoni was a pre-charged air rifle. If my recollection is correct, it fired 22 shots before needing recharging. L&C used it to impress various Indian tribes with its repeated firing. They were careful never to run it dry in front of the Indians. Recharging the Girondoni was a massive effort with the hand pump they had available to them.

          Another interesting thing I read about the L&C Expedition was that the black powder they took with them was sealed in lead casks. I’ll bet that was an interesting experience sealing the lead casks without setting off the black powder. The thinking was if their boat capsized, the casks would sink immediately to the bottom and they would know pretty closely where they were. On the other hand if the casks floated there was no way to determine where they might end up. In addition, as the powder was used up the lead cask could be melted down for additional bullets. Of course, that was all back in the days when lead was still a useful metal, unlike today where it is considered almost as dangerous as radioactive U-235.

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  15. Badmoon1 March 28, 18:54

    Most people are concerned with guns but forget bows, sling shots etc. I can build a 20 or so lbs. bow from PVC pipe and a couple of arrows in less than an hour.. The article talks of small game. The only reason I would be hunting and not trapping is I would be moving locations and doing so in route. If set up in place I would be trapping, both animals and fish. No reason to spend my time hunting when setting traps do the same thing and free up my time to garden, build things, gather materials or in many cases teach and train my children to do the same. Besides hunting with any fire arm gives away your position. People hear guns shot and will think either a treat is in the area or someone got food, both good reasons to gather up a force and check the place where the shots came from.

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    • Spike March 30, 19:15

      I’ve found you can’t stock up on sling shot bands because they deterioate in the package. Can we stop this some how?

      Reply to this comment
  16. Random5499 March 29, 00:07

    I’m not an expert on anything but am interested in everything, so I always enjoy an article like this and the back and forth responses from people sharing their knowledge. My criticism of the article would be that it is actually not that challenging to build a nuclear weapon, the challenge is coming up with the enriched Uranium or Plutonium to make it go boom. And that Iran and NoKo aren’t rogue regimes led by crazy men and aren’t going to attack us unless we attack them 1st, sadly with guys like Pompeo and Bolton trying to pervert Trump’s better instincts that remains a possibility. Iran doesn’t have a nuke program but, like any technologically capable country, they could build a nuke pretty fast. NoKo has nukes, of course, and are already capable of putting a couple of 200kt nukes in low earth orbit and frying our tech even as, for the second time in 65 years, we bomb them back to the stone age. So EMP still ranks as the most likely event causing TEOTWAWKI, and Prepping ain’t crazy…so far as mechanical spare parts go, if an EMP is as bad as Science thinks it will be and 90% of Americans die (and we’re not one of them) the country will have become one gigantic pick and pull parts yard.

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    • Raven tactical March 30, 21:40

      I would say that economic or civil war is most likey. A EMP is possible but requires someone bold enough with the technology to do it. Dont think we will see that happen anytime soon. Its also not we bad as we think it would be. Most cars will run.

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  17. left coast chuck March 29, 00:48

    In defense of the author, it may well be that someone edited his article and provided the pictures and one of two choices, either the editor didn’t know the difference between a single action and a double action revolver or those were the only pictures the editor could find without a long on-line search.

    Personally, I would feel very comfortable with any Ruger double action or single action revolver. Sure, if you drop it in the pig pen and then step on it before you pick it up, the chances of it working without cleaning off the gunk are slim. I can guarantee, even the venerable 1911 under those circumstances MAY fire the round that is in the chamber but that is all it is going to fire, and, by the way, now it is really jammed up with a stovepipe and the next round jammed in the ejection port. Good Luck.

    One nice feature about the larger caliber Rugers is that if they don’t function, they have enough metal in them that they make fairly effective clubs. I would most definitely not want to get clocked with a Ruger Super Redhawk with a 7.5 or longer barrel. Unless wielded by a six year old, I am sure every reader of this post would be seeing stars and wondering where he was and what had happened after getting thumped on the gourd with that two-handed weapon.

    Even the old Security-Six makes a formidable bell ringing hand tool. You would have to be like the deputy I knew. He got thumped over the head with an large concrete block. The doc told him he was lucky he had an abnormally thick skull, otherwise he would have had at a minimum a severe concussion. As it was he only had a cut on his scalp.

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    • Raven tactical March 29, 08:34

      Might as well include bayonets on those darn complex semi autos.

      The author wrote a Jim cobb fluff piece. Nothing of value just be to fill space.

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      • left coast chuck March 30, 02:21

        Raven: A bayonet on the end of an 03, 03A3, Moisin-Nagant, SMLE .303, M-1 Garand Mauser M98, and probably a couple of other battle rifles from WWI and WWII makes a formidable weapon if you have no ammo left. There are lots of dead and living veterans who can attest to that.

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        • Raven tactical March 31, 13:08

          Honestly their is not that many bayonet attacks in the history of war.

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck March 31, 20:51

            Spike: Try vacuum sealing them and then keep them in a cardboard box that is kept in the coolest part of your house. You won’t totally eliminate deterioration, but you will significantly slow its progress

            Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck March 31, 21:01

            True, true, but keep your revolver reasonably clean and don’t try firing loads that are so hot they drive the case back in the cylinder and you will likely never experience a locked cylinder.

            Purchased my first revolver in 1963. Used it to fire two courses of NRA pistol every Wednesday for the next three years. After that fired it countless times. It was really my favorite gun. Never had a locked cylinder. Have fired numerous revolvers in numerous calibers and never had the pleasure of a locked cylinder. Had an RG in .22 short. I think those retailed for $19.95. They were what all the critics had in mind when they were screaming about Saturday Night Specials. If they knew the full name for Saturday Night Special I think they would have dropped it sooner than they did. The RG would register in double action but wouldn’t register in single action, however, if I turned the cylinder by hand, it would lock up and fire.

            The guy who gave it to me wanted $10 for it. I told him that was too much money, so he gave it to me. I am waiting for the local fuzz to hold a gun buy back and then I am going to trade it in for the $100 gift certificate. Get that killing machine off the streets.

            Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck March 31, 21:35

            I would assume from your reply you have never read any accounts of our Revolutionary War wherein the bayonet followed the cannon as the most used weapon of that war. After the volley discharge of all four ranks, the tactic was to charge the opposing line with fixed bayonets. Part of the required accoutrement of the citizenship-soldier was a musket and bayonet. Part of the success of the British Army during the 16th and 17th centuries was due to their close order fire and subsequent bayonet charges.

            Again in the War of Secession, after the cannon and even after the introduction of the breach loading firearm, the bayonet played an important role in assaults on fixed positions. Read first hand accounts of charges during the famous battles.

            TR’s famed charge up San Juan Hill was accomplished when the U.S. forces breached the Spanish lines in a bayonet charge. The U.S. forces were still using the .45-70 single shot breach loader in that conflict. Didn’t quite match up with the Spanish charger loading 7 x 57 Mauser. It is very difficult to charge up a hill loading a single shot breach loader. The hill was taken with the use of cold steel.

            First hand accounts of trench warfare in WWI abound with accounts of forces on both sides using bayonets with a fair amount of frequency. Several Medals of Honor were awarded when the soldier cleared out a machine gun nest with his bayonet.

            First hand accounts of attacks on Marine lines during the early days of the battle of Guadalcanal are replete with tales of the Marines repelling Japanese banzai charges in hand to hand struggles with bayonets. Lack of supplies was responsible for the Marines having to use bayonets to repel the Japanese.

            If you read the accounts of the March Down From the Chosen during the Korean War there were frequent times when the Chinese overran Marine positions and the resulting struggles were hand to hand with bayonets and entrenching tools.

            I don’t know what your definition of “not that many” is, but until we went to the M16, which I would agree is generally not really suited for bayonet encounters, the one of the reasons why most battle rifles were long and heavy was to make them more effective in hand-to-hand combat. I can personally attest that an M-1 wielded like a baseball bat, even against a steel helmet will stun the recipient of the blow and at a minimum drive him to his knees in a stunned state. A bayonet thrust follow-along would complete the task.

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  18. TheSouthernNationalist March 29, 11:39

    Well it looks like everyone has covered most points on this article, the only thing I can contribute is if you are worried about a gunpowder shortage start stocking up on strike anywhere matches.

    You can use the white tip on the match head to reload the primer and the match head for the powder portion. Be careful when removing the white tip they will ignite quite easy.

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  19. Wyo March 29, 22:39

    All of you complainers about this and that in the article being incorrect need to write and submit an article yourselves if you are so intelligent. If you don’t have anything of substance to say, then keep your criticism to yourselves. There is no need for name calling or denigrating remarks. And most of the disparagers had nothing relevant to say. Also a lot of it was downright inaccurate, so make sure your correct before you blow off at the mouth.

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    • Raven tactical March 29, 23:19

      You need proof the ar15 is a simple firearm with plenty of parts available and same with glock. I guess i would like to see people prove us wrong. Currently gander mtn cabalas and local hardware stores have full kits. Online is just to many to post

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck March 30, 02:51

        The Glock is famous for only have a limited number of parts. The AR is reasonably easy to field strip. However, both firearms need special tools to repair them and so it behooves the amateur gunsmith who is going to repair his Glock/AR to ensure that he has both the parts and the special tools and, just perhaps, a manual to go along with the firearms.

        In an EOTW situation, neither Gander Mountain, Cabalas nor the local hardware store will be stocking parts. Online will be a distant memory.

        Typically any article on firearms will generate all kinds of self-styled experts who are eager to pontificate on the merits of their favorite firearm. Writing an article on the benefits of ABC firearm versus XYZ firearm is almost always an exercise in self-flagellation.

        Rich M, make yourself a stiff drink and pick another topic.

        As with improvements in all areas of firearms and ammunition in the last twenty years, improvements in air rifles and hand air guns in the last twenty years are a major leap forward. Twenty years ago PCP guns were incredibly expensive and required all kinds of supplemental gear. Not so today. Muzzle velocities of over 1,000 fps were only dreamed of. Today every manufacturer has an air rifle that will exceed 1,000 fps. Today there is an air rifle that will fire arrows. Think about that. An air rifle that will fire arrows at over 400 fps. There are magazine fed repeating air rifles and in serious calibers. Reliability and longevity of air rifles has improved significantly in the last twenty years.

        Someone has said that after the next world war, wars will be fought with clubs and rocks. I think that prophecy may well be true at some time after an EMP should some evil, misdirected person choose that as a weapon against a perceived enemy state.

        Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 30, 02:33

      Well said, Wyo. I concur fully.

      While we are discussing alternatives, Black powder can be manufactured from three ingredients: Potassium nitrate, powder sulphur, and charcoal. Brass cases can be loaded with black powder. The S&W .38 special started out as a black powder firearm as did the .45 Colt. Yes, they will crud up your firearm and you will need to clean it more thoroughly than you have ever cleaned a firearm before after each use, but you never know what you may be forced to do. There is even a video floating around about how to make potassium nitrate from your urine. I think it was an early post on this website. Personally, I thought it was incredibly time consuming and produced a minimal amount of the chemical and the resulting explosion was underwhelming, I have read somewhere that in medieval times villagers all collected their urine in one large vat. They used it for several functions. So, you could have a village urine pot for the production of potassium nitrate. Charcoal is easy to make and sulphur is naturally occurring, so it could be mined once a sulphur mine was located. The only other problem is how to make fulminate of mercury. Mercury is also a naturally occurring mineral and in the PDRK there are many closed mercury mines. They weren’t closed because the mercury had been completely mined, they were closed due to the greenies demanding their closure as with lead mines in the U.S.

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      • The Ohio Prepper March 30, 04:27

        left coast chuck,

        While we are discussing alternatives, Black powder can be manufactured from three ingredients: Potassium nitrate, powder sulphur, and charcoal. Brass cases can be loaded with black powder. The S&W .38 special started out as a black powder firearm as did the .45 Colt.

        Actually the black powder cartridge was just the .38 (Long Colt, no special) and the current .38 special case diameter is .38. The original was a .38 caliber externally lubricated bullet like the current .22 LR, so when they went to the internally lubricated bullet with better ballistics in .357 (case inside diameter) they added the special, since people might think that the .357 was less powerful than the larger .38. It was pure marketing even in 1898.

        There is even a video floating around about how to make potassium nitrate from your urine.

        I did this years ago with directions from one of the first Foxfire books. It’s easier with hog urine; but, a bit more disgusting.

        I have read somewhere that in medieval times villagers all collected their urine in one large vat. They used it for several functions. So, you could have a village urine pot for the production of potassium nitrate.

        Actually they collected it individually and sold it. From that practice we see how poor people were “Piss poor” and had to collect and sell their urine; but, how even poorer people could not make that little bit of money, since they had “No pot to piss in.”
        The stale urine which created ammonia was also used for tanning hides by the leather makers.

        Charcoal is easy to make and sulphur is naturally occurring, so it could be mined once a sulphur mine was located.

        Soft willow sulfur works best (according to Firefox) and around here, many wells have it in the water where it could be precipitated out.

        The only other problem is how to make fulminate of mercury. Mercury is also a naturally occurring mineral and in the PDRK there are many closed mercury mines. They weren’t closed because the mercury had been completely mined, they were closed due to the greenies demanding their closure as with lead mines in the U.S.

        Mercury fulminate can be made by dissolving mercury in nitric acid and that solution poured into 95 % ethanol. Crystals are then formed, & when the reaction is complete, the crystals are filtered and washed until neutral. It is doable; but, not simple, unless you are a chemist.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck March 30, 19:03

          Ohio Prepper: Thanks for the information. Again learned something from this site that I did not know. Didn’t know that you could obtain sulfur from willow. Also didn’t have a clue how to make fulminate of mercury.

          The source of the phrases was very interesting and informative. I thought that the urine was also used for tanning but not certain enough to state it as a fact for this list. I wonder what leather tanned with urine smells like, especially if it gets wet?

          Reply to this comment
          • The Ohio Prepper April 1, 22:01

            left coast chuck,

            Ohio Prepper: Thanks for the information. Again learned something from this site that I did not know. Didn’t know that you could obtain sulfur from willow. Also didn’t have a clue how to make fulminate of mercury.

            Actually you don’t get sulfur from willow; but, you can get it from some water wells. You BTW get the best charcoal from willow.

            Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 1, 01:57

          Ohio Prepper: I was pretty sure that the .38 special when introduced was black powder. Wikipedia concurs with my opinion. While I look as if I might have been around in 1898, that is not the case, so I have to rely on other sources. From Wikipedia: “The .38 Special was introduced in 1898 as an improvement over the .38 Long Colt which, as a military service cartridge, was found to have inadequate stopping power against the charges of Filipino Muslim warriors during the Philippine–American War. Upon its introduction, the .38 Special was originally loaded with black powder, but the cartridge’s popularity caused manufacturers to offer smokeless powder loadings within a year of its introduction.”

          Years ago I found a very strange looking .38 sp case laying on the ground at a shooting range I frequent. The bullet was a wadcutter but was copper clad. The case was a large primer case versus the usual small pistol primer currently use. I pulled the bullet and while I didn’t have the powder analyzed and didn’t ignite it to see how it burned, it certainly looked like moderate grain black powder. I kept the bullet, the powder and the case although if I had to lay my hands on them right this minute to save my life, I would be a goner.

          Reply to this comment
          • The Ohio Prepper April 1, 22:12

            left coast chuck,

            Ohio Prepper: I was pretty sure that the .38 special when introduced was black powder. Wikipedia concurs with my opinion. While I look as if I might have been around in 1898, that is not the case, so I have to rely on other sources.

            I know and stated as much; but, perhaps not clearly:

            Actually the black powder cartridge was just the .38 (Long Colt, no special) and the current .38 special case diameter is .38. The original was a .38 caliber externally lubricated bullet like the current .22 LR, so when they went to the internally lubricated bullet with better ballistics in .357 (case inside diameter) they added the special, since people might think that the .357 was less powerful than the larger .38.

            My point here was that while it was still a BP cartridge, the bullet diameter of the .38 ”Special” had the smaller bullet diameter, so the Special was meant to obscure the .38 that really wasn’t. Marketing 101, LOL

            Reply to this comment
  20. Spike March 30, 15:24

    Here’s my list of 6 best guns to have after the SHTF.

    #1. Every man/woman/child should have at least 1 Ruger 10/22. Most common 22LR rifle there is so parts should be available.

    #2. Some shotgun in 20Ga or 12GA. I think Mossberg, Winchester or Remington would serve you well.

    From this point on, the calibers would be Military in nature because of wide availability and low cost of ammunition being purchased in bulk.

    #3. A 9mm semi auto pistol. I won’t get into brands or styles because people have their own preferences. Ammo is 1/3 cheaper than 45 ACP

    #4 An AR platform .223. I like the piston driven rifles because they can fire hundreds or thousands of rounds without dirtying the bolt. However, those parts would be proprietary and not widely available so it would be imperative to have a separate Mil-spec complete upper assembly that would be compatible with most of the other ARs around.

    #5 A Norico SKS 7.62×39 because they are reliable, more accurate than a AK and this ammunition is probably the most common ammo across the world.

    #6 A good bolt action 308 that is capable of long range shots with handloads and still use the widely available 7.62×51 NATO ammo. You can buy very accurate rifles for under $500 from several companies.

    Reply to this comment
  21. The Ohio Prepper March 30, 21:36

    Rich,

    Of all the potential TEOTWAWKI events there are, an EMP is the one to keep our eyes on. Not only is an EMP one of the most devastating disasters we might encounter, it is also one of the more likely. There are a number of different bad actors in the world, which could use an EMP against our nation; not only rogue nations like North Korea and Iran, but terrorists as well.

    When you assert an EMP ”is also one of the more likely” I have to disagree. You only need to look at Nebraska and the Midwest to see what is most likely, with a whole region currently devastated. While an EMP would be a world changing event for many, EOTWAWKI is occurring in the Midwest as we have this discussion.

    While it takes extremely sophisticated technology to build nuclear warheads, especially the miniaturized ones needed for launch by missiles, it doesn’t take particularly sophisticated technology to build the missiles. The SCUD missile is really nothing more than a German V2 rocket from World War II, yet it reaches an altitude high enough to launch an EMP attack. While not high enough to destroy the electrical grid nationwide, three SCUD launched nuclear devices could, launching from off the East Coast, the West Coast, and Gulf of Mexico). Ordinary container ships could be the launch platform.

    Actually a single device detonated somewhere over the center of the country could bring down most if not all of the grid, and the parts not directly impacted by the radiated energy are interconnected, so a cascade failure would cause widespread damage and outages.

    This means two things to us. The first is that attack by EMP is more likely than many other potential major disasters. While that is not good news, the second is that if we use an EMP as the basis for our long-term survival planning, we’re ready for just about anything.

    As I stated above, an EMP is perhaps one of the least likely and plans for it may not be adequate for other events. Once again I mention the Midwest flooding or the California wildfires. Hunkering down with adequate food & water in a shelter that keeps me in a comfortable temperature range could easily get me through an EMP; but, no matter my collection of firearms and parts, flood waters or wildfires would be something to contend with in a quite different manner than an EMP.

    An EMP would put our country back to the 1800s, technology wise. However, we would not be as well off as our ancestors in that time, simply because we don’t have their technology or know how to use it. This was the tail end of the Industrial Revolution, with tools and equipment that was much different than what we use today.

    There tools back then were much different than many we use today; but, in my case and our area we still have luddites who are quite comfortable and handy with those same tools and use them all of the time. They would be my Amish neighbors.

    Few people know how to do the trades that existed in the later 1800s, let alone the early 1800s. Without modern tools and equipment, there are many things which we will not have any idea how to do. We will have to literally recreate technology and methods, relearning things that our ancestors took for granted.

    There are still some of us who know those skills and have some of those tools. The biggest difference between our modern tools and those old tools will be the amount of skill and effort needed to use them, and the patience to use them for a job, since everything will take longer and must be more thoroughly planned.

    While we wouldn’t lose the semi-automatic firearms we have, there was a reason why they weren’t invented until the 1900s; that’s because they are more complicated.

    Actually it was the metallurgy more than the complexity. John Moses Browning built his first 1911 style prototype handgun in 1889. And a gas operated machine gun in 1895. The 1911 designation was the year the handgun was adopted for service.

    But I’m thinking of the .22 in a little different light than most people. I’m thinking of it as a disposable gun. You can buy these for as little as $120, not a whole lot of investment. So it’s really not much of a problem to have a few spares around. If the one you’re using breaks, you can simply switch your scope over to another one and keep shooting.

    While it’s good to have a spare (or two) why would you not also have a spare scope, since my experience has shown that scopes are usually much more fragile than the firearms. One should also know how to shoot with iron sites, especially with the limited range od a .22 RF.

    Probably the most important firearm to own in a post-EMP world is a .22LR rifle. Big game will be scarce and overhunted, leaving little to hunt other than small game. You really can’t beat a .22LR for hunting small game. The small bullet doesn’t waste a lot of meat and the light caliber is easy to use. With a scope mounted to the rifle, you can shoot a fair distance.

    One big advantage from my perspective would be inexpensive ammunition, both for practice and stockpiling.

    he bolt-action rifle has been around since the early 1800s, actually predating the lever action Winchester 1873 Repeating Rifle (carbine) that “Won the West.” From the time the US Army adopted the Springfield 1892, up to the time they adopted the M-16 during the Vietnam War.

    There was a good reason for this; bolt action rifles are highly reliable. There is little that can go wrong with the bolt, other than a broken ejector or firing pin. About the only thing that can go wrong with the firing mechanism is a broken spring. So, chances are a bolt action rifle would last well, without needing repairs.

    For light caliber cartridges I agree; but, when shooting larger calibers like .308, even bolt guns can take a beating and need maintenance and repair.

    This one is hard for me to say, but a revolver is definitely a better sidearm in a post-EMP world than a semi-automatic pistol. I’m a semi-auto man myself, but I recognize that the revolver has a much simpler firing mechanism, with much more robust parts. This makes it highly desirable in a time when making repairs to a gun might be impossible. While I love my Glock and my 1911, I’d want to have a good revolver by my side in a post-EMP world.

    While I regularly carry and shoot both auto loaders and revolvers, I don’t know that they are any easier to maintain over time, since I maintain mine on a regular basis. Cleaning, lightly oiling, and taking care of worn parts when you see them, is in my experience the key to reliability.

    What that means for me is adding a revolver to my handgun stash, just to have something to use, if something happens to my other pistols. I’ll still keep my other pistols, but it will be nice to have something that’s easier to repair, just in case.

    My first handguns were revolvers purchased 45 years ago. I still have them and they still work fine.
    Black Powder Rifle

    Now let’s go a little off the reservation. In addition to the above, which you can probably find in any of a number of different lists, I’d highly recommend a black powder rifle or two, as part of your arsenal. Specifically, I’d recommend this as your main hunting rifle for big game. Please note that I’m talking about a rifle (with a rifled barrel) not a musket, which is a smoothbore weapon.

    Here in Ohio up until recently, muzzle loading rifles using black powder or a modern substitute like Pyrodex were the only rifles legal to hunt whitetail deer. Using a patched round ball or a conical bullet, I’ve seen deer easily taken at 100 yards.

    The problem with black powder rifles is that most are muzzle loaders. There are a few breach loaders around, but they aren’t common. Yet, for the purpose of using it as a survival hunting gun, I’d highly recommend finding a breach loader. Not only can they be reloaded much more rapidly, but they tend to be more accurate than muzzle loaders.

    I’ve never seen a breech loading black powder rifle, unless you’re talking BP cartridges. I also don’t know why you think they are more accurate. Accuracy comes primarily from a good quality firearm, with a practiced shooter; however, a conical bullet or a modern bullet in a sabot configuration will generally be more accurate than a patched round ball.

    One of the big advantages here is that you can make black powder and cast your own bullets. While it might be hard to find the ingredients to make black powder, they can be found. Lead for bullets shouldn’t be a problem, because you can always melt down lead from car batteries. Just be sure to rinse the acid off first.

    Look at ”The Foxfire Book” Volume 5 (1979) for how to make BP from scratch. I made a batch 30+ years ago using that recipe, and while it’s hard and takes a while, it can be done.
    As for lead from batteries, it’s not as easy as you might think. Wheel weights and other sources of lead might be a better source.

    The one problem here might be percussion caps, if you buy a muzzle loader that uses them. A flintlock would be better as far as supply is concerned, but percussion is more reliable. So just make sure you have a good stock of percussion caps, if your rifle needs it.

    Why do you say the percussion caps are more reliable? A flintlock is as reliable when properly maintained including occasionally hardening the frizzen. The biggest reason the flintlock was replaced was faster lock time and no smoke from the pan to scare off the prey.

    Black Powder Revolver

    Of course, if you are going to use a black powder rifle, you might want to consider a black powder revolver to go with it. There are a number of replicas and kits available for these, making it a good option for a hunting sidearm. Just be sure to avoid the early Colt revolvers, which don’t have a frame strap above the cylinder, as they tend to be weak and break.

    You are most likely not going to find an early Colt that you could afford or would want to shoot.

    Black powder revolvers all use a percussion cap, so you will definitely need to put in a goodly stock. But other than that, you can make the powder and shot yourself. As for the grease that is used to pack the cylinders, you can use any animal grease you can find.

    Definitely true and you can also use vegetable grease like Crisco; but, I’ve used them with no grease at all, and with a tight fit of the ball (not shot), have never seen a chain fire.
    They also BTW, make single shot muzzle loading flintlocks.

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    • left coast chuck March 31, 22:02

      Ohio Prepper: While I can’t make specific firearms, there were breach loading black powder rifles that did not use brass or other rigid cartridges. Of course, we both know that for wartime efforts, troops carried made up paper cartridges in their cartridge boxes. They would bit the end off the cartridge, pour the pre-measured powder down the bore, cuff the paper down the bore to make a patch and then ram home the ball.

      I seem to recall a discussion about a rifle invented by a Major Ferguson of the British Army wherein the breach somehow opened and the ingredients were inserted in the reverse order, ball, wad and powder, breach closed, pan charged, flint cocked and fire. Now you have the complete contents of my memory banks. I think though, if you look up Ferguson rifle, as I recall, it was a rifle, not a musket, you will find it. I haven’t researched it before posting this, so I could “all wet” which I think is a term from muzzle loading days. If you were all wet, the best you would get is perhaps a “flash in the pan.”

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    • left coast chuck March 31, 22:10

      Ohio Prepper: I went directly from posting to Wikipedia and here is what I found:

      The Ferguson rifle was one of the first breech-loading rifles to be put into service by the British military. It fired a standard British carbine ball of .615″ calibre and was used by the British Army in the American War of Independence at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, and possibly at the Siege of Charleston in 1780.[1]

      Its superior firepower was unappreciated at the time because it was too expensive and took longer to produce – the four gunsmiths making Ferguson’s Ordnance Rifle could not make 100 in 6 months at four times the cost per arm of a musket.

      The breech of the weapon is closed by 11 starting threads on a tapered screw, and the trigger guard serves as the crank to rotate it. One complete turn dropped the screw low enough to drop a round ball into the exposed breech followed by a slight overcharge of powder, which was then sheared to the proper charge by the screw as it closed the breech. Since the weapon was loaded from the breech, rather than from the muzzle, it had an amazingly high rate of fire for its day, and in capable hands, it fired six to ten rounds per minute.

      Apparently the way the breach is opened is by unscrewing the breach block by using the trigger guard as a lever. Not only was it a breach loading loose powder gun but also an early model lever action too.

      I knew I had read something about the Ferguson, but it was too long ago to be recalled clearly. I think I read an article in American Rifleman about it some years ago.

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  22. Doug March 31, 12:12

    EMP? Common protocol is to NEVER use an acronym or abbreviation before it has been defined in the first part of the text or title. I suppose only seasoned members are welcome and learners are not. Unsubscribing.

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    • left coast chuck March 31, 21:17

      Sorry about that, Doug, but sometimes we make false assumptions about the level of knowledge of other folks. For your edification if you have not unsubscribed yet, some very common abbreviations you will find on most preppier/survivalist web sites: EM{ (also HAEMP) The first is Electro Magnetic Pulse. HAEMP = High Altitude EMP.
      CME= Coronal Mass Ejection which is a high energy burst from the sun. It is similar to, but has significant differences from an EMP. You can target an area with an EMP, whereas a CME can either bath the whole earth or just a specific portion of it. EOTW = End of the World. EOTWKAWKI = End of the World as We Know It.; SHTF = Fecal matter impacting a whirling air mover.

      Actually, after I read your post, I went to the dictionary which is included as an app with my computer and typed in those initials. electromagnetic pulse come up immediately.

      Too bad you have such a short fuse. I find this site to be one of the more valuable sites regarding the subject of prepping for disasters. In addition to the main text of the article, unlike many of the responses to this article, the discussions that follow the article oftentimes provide additional information on the topic or offer real life experience on the topic.

      Reply to this comment
    • Raven tactical March 31, 21:47

      Lol what rock did you live under. I am sure we won’t miss your great weather of knowledge. Even my neighbors dog knows what a emp is.

      Reply to this comment
    • Hacksaw April 1, 11:21

      Good. You won’t be missed. cry babies and sissies need not apply.

      Reply to this comment
  23. Wannabe April 1, 17:37

    Has anyone on this feed ever made black gun powder? If it’s so easy then make it. Gun powder is too volatile for me to fool with. I like all my fingers and my head while thinking about it. Gun powder is very easy to buy and in many different applications. So at primers. A thousand for forty bucks is a great deal and a pound of powder for thirty to forty iis a great deal. Some pistol powders can give you 1500 bullets per pound. HP-38 if any one is interested. It is a Hodgdon powder. Can be used in 45 colt, 38 special, 9mm, 380 auto, 45 auto, 10 mm just to name a few. So go buy some, stock up and you won’t have to worry about pissing in a pot. You can get on Hodgdon website click on reloading data, agree to their disclaimer then look up any caliber you like and print off load data. Don’t even have to buy a reloading Manuel if you want to save money. Although it is a good idea to have several reloading Manuel’s new and old alike but I digress. Get proper equipment and you are in business. Go to shooting ranges and see if owners sell their once fired brass or if they just throw it away ask if you can collect what is on the ground so he doesn’t have to clean it up him self. There, brass problem solved. Cheap or free brass and all you can collect. In a couple months time you may be giving brass away to friends. Someone else suggested going to ranges and digging into berms. Great suggestion because the lead is already mixed to firing in a gun. Right amount of tin and antimony in it. There, lead problem fixed. Just some ideas to think about

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    • The Ohio Prepper April 1, 21:55

      Wannabe,

      Has anyone on this feed ever made black gun powder? If it’s so easy then make it. Gun powder is too volatile for me to fool with. I like all my fingers and my head while thinking about it.

      I have and the key to making it safely is to mix it wet, usually with a bit of stale urine. Once it’s all mixed, then you mold it into small sheets with some distance between them to let them dry. Once dry, you wear gloves and eye protection and patiently grind with a mortar & pestle made from ceramic or wood. No metals that could spark or get too hot from friction.

      Gun powder is very easy to buy and in many different applications.

      True you can purchase smokeless powder in a lot of varieties as well as black powder in various sizes from Pistol & Cannon and from Fg to FFFFg (typically called 4F). Black powder around here is a bit harder to find.

      So at primers. A thousand for forty bucks is a great deal and a pound of powder for thirty to forty iis a great deal.

      I have around 6000 small pistol primers; but, you cannot just get “primers” since there are a variety of large and small, pistol and rifle, standard and Magnum and then others for shotguns.

      Some pistol powders can give you 1500 bullets per pound.

      I used ”Unique” and easily got 1500 rounds per pound when loading 9mm.

      Go to shooting ranges and see if owners sell their once fired brass or if they just throw it away ask if you can collect what is on the ground so he doesn’t have to clean it up him self. There, brass problem solved.

      I used to run a range and while many shooters want their own brass, most students don’t even know you can reload, so I have thousands of empty brass in 9mm, .38 Special & .357 magnums so you are correct that brass need not be a problem.

      Reply to this comment
      • Wannabe April 2, 13:20

        Ohio prepper, many gun shows have reloading vendors who carry all sorts of primers. Large rifle, small rifle, small pistol, large pistol, magnum rifle, etc. check local gun shops, if they carry reloading supplies they will have primers. It really is very easy where I live. If he does not have it in stock he can order it and hazmat fee is on him. Same with powder. Projectiles also. Reloading equipment is always available on line and easy to order and sent straight to your house. Glad to know it really is easy to make black powder.

        Reply to this comment
        • The Ohio Prepper April 3, 16:36

          Wannabe,

          Ohio prepper, many gun shows have reloading vendors who carry all sorts of primers. Large rifle, small rifle, small pistol, large pistol, magnum rifle, etc. check local gun shops, if they carry reloading supplies they will have primers. It really is very easy where I live. If he does not have it in stock he can order it and hazmat fee is on him. Same with powder. Projectiles also. Reloading equipment is always available on line and easy to order and sent straight to your house.

          I know all of this and once reloaded my own shotgun shells with a MEC loader and rifle / handgun with a Dillon RL-550B I have since sold to a friend 20 years my junior who now reloads for me. Keep in mind that the point of this article is how to do this after the EMP or other EOTW event, when gun shows and stores are all gone.

          Glad to know it really is easy to make black powder.

          It’s easier if you purchase things like saltpeter instead of making it; but, really only safe when you mix the ingredients wet and grind them in very small batches. Up to a point, a batch igniting will only singe your fingers; but, at some point it starts removing them, so small and slow is the safest way to do this.
          Around here saltpeter (potassium nitrate) is still available for food preservation like picking and meat curing

          Reply to this comment
  24. left coast chuck April 2, 01:19

    Wannabe: Yes, as a matter of fact, when I was in high school I made black powder, loaded .22 shells with it and fired them.

    I went to the drug store and purchased sulfur and potassium nitrate. Drug stores way back then really were, as the British called them “chemists.” There were no chains that I was aware of. All the drug stores were small businesses and the druggist many times mixed up his own medicines. You could buy all kinds of chemicals there and nobody raised an eyebrow.

    I mixed the recommended proportions of sulfur, potassium nitrate and some charcoal that I ground up. I didn’t mix them wet. Didn’t know any better. Isn’t there a saying about angels protecting fools and idiots?

    I loaded what I thought was a good amount of the stuff in .22 shells that I had pulled the bullets from. I don’t remember how many, but it was a small amount. I sealed the ends of the cases with beeswax. They fired and at about three feet the beeswax punched a hole in a 1 x 4 board which was probably pine but at this late date, I can’t be sure. The hole was only about 1/4 inch deep.

    I didn’t reload the pulled bullets because I didn’t know how to make them stay in the case after I had opened it up to put the bullet in. I tried closing the mouth around the bullet with pliers but that was a kluge result.

    While you can buy the ingredients, sulfur and potassium nitrate on line and charcoal everywhere, I would recommend sticking with commercially manufactured products. Their quality control is just a smidgeon better than the garage chemist, no matter how careful he is. Not to mention that when the black powder explosion happens, it is much better if it is in Aneooka Minnesota (don’t know about that spelling) than if it is in your garage. Plus, after the explosion, fire, trip to the E.R. etc. etc. there are all those embarrassing questions from the authorities and your wife and maybe the summons and complaint from the divorce lawyer.

    This has been a fun line with lots of useful information and many bombastic opinions. I learned quite a few things on it and confirmed some ideas that I previously held. It’s always fun discussing firearms and their potential uses even though some folk are just a bit too pompous in their opinions.

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  25. Big Red April 18, 23:53

    The best guns are the one you already have , can handle well and have plenty of ammo for BUY MORE AMMO

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